The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft has come and passed. And with the 19th overall pick, the Washington Football Team elected to stay at home and make a splash selection of linebacker and athlete freak Jamin Davis from the University of Kentucky.
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound linebacker made some serious noise in the pre-draft process after his versatility on tape was as visually pleasing as his build. Davis is built like something out of a Marvel movie, with abs like Killmonger and arms like Thor. Davis proved that not only is his build out of this world, but his versatility is unicorn-like as well.
The Washington Football Team came into the 2021 NFL Draft with a couple of known holes on this team. They need an answer long-term at quarterback, they need an entirely new linebacker core, and they need to upgrade the anchor of their defense at free safety.
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With guys like TCU’s Trevon Moehrig and Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah available at 19, the Washington Football Team went with a guy who has the highest ceiling of them all. The junior linebacker isn’t the most polished prospect at his position, but his traits coupled with his unreal athletic profile give him the upside of being a perennial pro-bowl talent.
How the Washington Football Team can use Jamin Davis
The linebacker comes into the NFL looking to fill a role at WILL linebacker for the Washington Football Team. That’s an off-the-ball linebacker who will excel in coverage and use his speed and elusiveness to stop the run on the way to the quarterback.
But there’s more to it when it comes to Jamin Davis. Besides his athletic profile being out of this world, former linebackers Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio have a vision for Davis, something they hope becomes reality in just a few seasons.
Davis adds a physical presence at linebacker that was desperately needed. He adds a level of consistency at the position while being the most versatile player in their linebacker room. His consistency is evident throughout his over 830 collegiate snaps for the Wildcats.
Davis only missed 11 tackles throughout those 830 snaps on defense. In other words, he had a missed tackle percentage of only 7 percent. For context, Washington’s linebackers Jon Bostic (8.1%), Cole Holcomb (9.1%), and Kevin Pierre-Louis (13.1%) all finished with higher missed tackle percentages this season and combined for over 30 missed tackles this year.
In addition to the inconsistency when finishing through contact, Washington’s duo of linebackers in Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic were given coverage grades from PFF of under 63. Through Davis’s three seasons, he’s been given an average coverage grade of 72.2, a significant upgrade over both in that aspect.
Davis not only is significantly better in coverage and as a tackler than his comrades, but he also gives this team a different dynamic as a pass-rusher. Davis posted three sacks last year for the Wildcats at his LB position, and during his sophomore campaign he added seven pressures.
In 2020, Washington’s linebacker trio of KPL, Bostic, and Holcomb only provided a combined seven pressures. Holcomb and KPL averaged a pass-rush grade from PFF of 55.2.
Davis’ added pass-rushing element will significantly improve this defense, as he gives coach Del Rio and Rivera a new look and endless schematic possibilities.
The Washington Football Team added a player in Jamin Davis that screams upside and versatility. With a guy like Davis, you’re getting an off-the-ball linebacker who will excel in coverage from day one while also being a sure tackler. He’s also a consistent playmaker. In his junior season he intercepted three passes and allowed a passer rating of 66 when targeted.
His play against the run will need to improve, but Davis’ tape shows he has high-level instincts and plenty of range to make sideline to sideline tackles. He must work on “getting skinny” when attacking the ball carriers and navigating through blocks, but his tape is also littered with impressive run stops too.
The be-all, end-all for this selection is upside and raising the ceiling of a defensive unit that has all the makings of an elite unit. With the selection of a potential leader of the linebacker room in Jamin Davis, Washington significantly improved their least talented group on the roster.
At pick 19, the Washington Football Team made the right choice, selecting Jamin Davis from the University of Kentucky.